Rumor: Windows 8 due August 2012; Win9 in 2014
A new rumor making its way through the Internet's tubes suggests that we might actually see a commercial release for Windows 8, Microsoft's next operating system (OS), as early as next August. What's even more surprising is that Microsoft is said to have a Windows 9 release for late 2014.
The rumor comes to us in the form of a leaked roadmap available through the minimalist tech blog "MS Nerd." The roadmap reveals Microsoft's tentative plans for future releases and, as usual, the greatest interest has been drawn to the company's popular operating systems.
The roadmap shows a Windows 8 beta arriving in time for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, with a final release set for August 2012. A Windows 8 Release Candidate (RC), generally considered the last pre-release version of an OS, should be available sometime between next January and late summer 2012. (Source: msnerd.com)
Report: WinStore Beta Also Available This Year
According to the rumors, Windows 8 won't be the only major Microsoft release next year. It also shows a January release date for the WinStore Beta, an online marketplace purportedly designed to allow Microsoft to compete with Apple's extremely popular online application outlet, iTunes.
Next year will also reportedly see major releases of developer tools for both Microsoft's Xbox 360 peripheral, Kinect, and Windows Phone.
Windows 9 Launch Date: 2014?
As for Windows 9, the roadmap shows it receiving a major developer preview at the BUILD conference in 2013 with a beta to follow in time for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2014.
If the report is to be true, we should have a Windows 9 Release Candidate by the middle of the year in 2014 and a commercial release in the fall. (Source: tomshardware.com) Other major releases that year, according to the roadmap hint at Internet Explorer 12 and Windows 9 Mobile.
It's worth noting that Microsoft has not yet commented on the roadmap or the plethora of rumors surrounding it. Given the widespread critical and commercial success of Windows 7, it seems unlikely Microsoft would attempt to phase the OS out within two years' time.
That said, it's definitely worth taking all of this information with a grain of salt.